A brazen gunman invaded the waiting lounge of a West Los Angeles automobile dealership Monday afternoon, shooting and wounding a customer in a scuffle for the victim's $20,000 gold Rolex watch, police said.
The robber fled on foot with the watch, said Police Lt. Ron Hall. He said several people witnessed the incident at Martin Cadillac, 12101 W. Olympic Blvd., near Bundy Drive.
"For him to come into this busy location . . . nothing comes to mind that was this brazen," Hall said.
The holdup victim, Carroll Adams, 58, of Rancho Palos Verdes, was waiting for his car to be repaired when the robber entered the small waiting room and demanded his watch, Hall said.
When Adams refused and then resisted, the fight--lasting "a couple minutes"--spilled out of the lounge and into the hallway, investigators said. The robber then fired, wounding Adams in the left hand and right thigh. Detective Ron Phillips said the robber theatened witnesses with the gun and warned them to stay away from him.
Another customer who was in the waiting room said the gunman told him, "You're next." However, he said, the man fled without trying to rob him. The customer said the robber, who entered the waiting room shortly before 2 p.m., told Adams: "Give me your watch, or I'll kill you."
Adams replied: "You're not getting my Rolex."
Paramedics took Adams to St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, where he was later reported in good condition.
Police said they would look into the possibility that Monday's holdup might be connected with other recent robberies in which expensive watches have been taken.